To-Do List

From Patrick Buchanan yesterday: a call to action in the wake of victory. Here.

This “magnanimity” business is certainly attracting a lot of attention. (More on that later.) Meanwhile, see the discussion at the Maverick Philosopher, here.


  1. You have won the legislative and the executive branches, and it is your prerogative to pursue your policies, but I do hope that you have not forgotten what I said about healing the rifts. I have, as I have advertised, my place in this contest, but if your spend 4 or as I have to prepare myself to believe 8 years pushing through policies the way policies were pushed through in the last 8, and the pendulum keeps swinging this way and that, our division will move further in the direction of the irreconcilable and of the divorce to which you recently alluded. Do you think there is still any hope to firm up our institutions and make our government a government of persuasion, rather than force?

    I can still take comfort in the words of Hume ( I, Essay III, THAT POLITICS MAY BE REDUCED TO A SCIENCE, 1.III.18), and I hope you will assure me, even in the midst of your desire for revenge, or else what I believe to be such a desire on your part, that I can continue to take comfort in them.

    Posted November 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
  2. Alex,

    I suppose you are addressing Malcolm. But in the event that you are using the second person plural, I can assure you that I, for one, am not at all consumed by a desire for vengeance against the Left, which has caused me a great deal of personal misery lo these eight deplorable 0bama years.

    It is my hope that President Trump will realize the great opportunity he has won to truly make America great again, not by destructive measures against those who have destroyed the America I have always been proud of, but by (re)constructive measures.

    It is my strong belief that he is a very capable captain of industry, which will transduce well into his position as CEO of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. And I do believe he will begin our country’s positive course of action by selecting according to meritorious criteria the best and brightest for his Cabinet’s Secretaries.

    He owes no Beltway insiders, many of whom dismissed his chances throughout the seemingly interminable campaign. I hope he will not lose sight of the real payoff for winning this election.

    Posted November 11, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Hi Alex,

    The Framers were of course students of Hume, and if politics really can be reduced to a science, that proposition was, I think, given its best expression, and best chance to prove itself under empirical test, by the Constitution they bequeathed us.

    Two hundred twenty-nine years later, how’s that experiment going? It’s had a good run — a magnificent run — but I am not terribly sanguine about its future, nor indeed its recent past. It seems to be coming undone in both the ways that the Framers feared, and that Tocqueville foresaw. All of the liabilities inherent in democracy — including the slow seepage of democracy itself into the machinery of the Republic — are now taking their enfeebling toll, and the pace of the rot is accelerating. Today we have angry mobs calling for the tearing-down of yet another Constitutional bulwark against raw democracy, and the tyranny of the mob: the Electoral College.

    What you describe as “pushing through policies the way policies were pushed through in the last 8 [years]” could also be described as simply repairing the damage done to the traditional American system over that time; rather than pushing the pendulum from side to side, the effort will mainly be to move it some small way back toward where it was. It’s a trifle tendentious, I think, to describe that as “this way and that”, when all the movement is over on the left side of the axis. (That said, I’ve used the analogy myself of the way people lose control of a car by increasing overcorrections, so I get your point, and don’t completely disagree. I do think the car is headed for an outcome that will quite possibly leave it “totaled”.)

    …our division will move further in the direction of the irreconcilable and of the divorce to which you recently alluded.

    Yes, I think it will, inexorably at this point, do just that — and I suddenly feel, as I look at the aftermath of this election, that the crisis may be upon us much sooner than we may have thought. We now have in the streets a generation weaned and raised on naive universalism, flat denial of historical and biological reality (and indeed, near-total ignorance of history save as a litany of the White Man’s, and by extension America’s, sins), and the belief that the world owes them a living. Their axioms and worldview are so entirely incommensurable with the traditional nation they rail against that there is little, if any, possibility of comity or compromise. And they are aflame with destructive rage.

    I have no desire for revenge. But I will do whatever I can to prevent such people from destroying the civilization that gave them everything they take for granted, and that I and others have a sacred duty to preserve for our children. I do not want a fight, but I know that if they insist on one, they shall have it. And if it comes to that, they will find they have provoked, in the traditional American people, a very dangerous enemy — good-natured and slow to anger, but capable, when roused, of visiting upon them a wrath beyond anything their childlike minds can imagine.

    (As I mentioned, they don’t know much about history.)

    Posted November 12, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink
  4. JK says

    Posted November 12, 2016 at 3:07 am | Permalink

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